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Pretty Polly
For quite a while we’ve wanted to remake our first forum post from eleven years ago. It’s a complete “start over” with Peter on guitar and Janice’s new vocals and her cajon playing. The tune is based on a 250 year old English murder ballad “The Gotsport Tragedy” later known as “Pretty Polly.” There are literally scores of verses and variants on the theme. We performed this with our bluegrass band back in the day in the typical uptempo style. So does reggae + hillbilly = reggaebilly? smile

Our objective was to make the song sound as haunting and melancholic as are the many folk versions. Variations of the tune have been recorded in "mountain modal" tuning with the banjo being the prominent instrument. To try and approximate this we ended up doing the song in Bbm. We rested the temptation to add chords as it has been performed for hundreds of years with just the two. Also we hoped to pay homage to its roots with Peter’s acoustic guitar and brief fiddle bits.

Thanks to Peter, PG Music and to you for your time to listen and, as always, comments are welcomed and appreciated - even if reggae isn’t your genre smile

If interested here’s some of the tune’s history:
Wiki Article

Janice: lead/harmony vocals, cajon & arrangement

Peter: guitar solo/fills - Variax emulating a Martin D28.

Bud: mix, mastering, arrangement, photo, etc.

lead/harmony vocals > Rodes NT1 mic > Scarlett Interface > Logic Pro X > Nectar

Bass: RealTracks 1157 Reggae > Waves Bass Rider > Neutron 3 (pieced together from multiple tracks)

Drums: RealDrums Reggae Classic > Waves ClA Drums
(includes bits from multiple tracks)

Cajon > MXL Mic > Scarlett Interface > Logic Pro X > Waves CLA Drums

Rhythm Guitar: RealTracks 1158 Rhythm Reggae > Chromaverb

Organ: RealTracks 1159 B3 Rhythm Reggae > Logic Pro X Direction Mixer > Chromaverb

Fiddle: RealTracks 624 Soloist George > Waves CLA Unplugged > Ozone Imager

Mastering: Ozone Dynamic EQ > Ozone Vintage EQ > Ozone Imager > Ozone Maximizer > Izotope Tonal Balance > Logic Pro X Loudness Meter

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A cracking remake.
The reggae elements are a wonderful fit.
Plenty of great reggae tunes were songs of woe so this fits in.
Excellent comping.
Peter's guitar bursts are ace.
A vocal and harmony that tell a story and inhabit it as well.
Well done crew.
Love it.


Cheers
rayc
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Oh, man. What a great day when I see a new one by you folks. Man, what a treat. This is unsurprisingly outstanding. I've heard versions of this but never really knew the backstory. Thanks! Peter, what you do in there is just perfect --so appropriate and adds so much. That bass drum was at first too strong, but then it makes a great emphatic statement that fits gloriously with the song. Janice, you vocals are so --yeah, you know what I'm going to say-- GREAT! The mix, as always, shines all the proper light on all the magic you guys pack into each production.


Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

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Originally Posted By: rayc
A cracking remake.
The reggae elements are a wonderful fit.
Plenty of great reggae tunes were songs of woe so this fits in.
Excellent comping.
Peter's guitar bursts are ace.
A vocal and harmony that tell a story and inhabit it as well.
Well done crew.
Love it.




Your familiarity with the genre makes your positive comments very special for us.

Thank you Ray!

J&B


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Hi Folks,

This has a very catchy and hypnotic beat - well done.

I also liked the vocals and the mix.

I was particularly taken with the excellent lead guitar where it had a Tony Joe White funky swamp feel in the middle of the song - terrific.

Well done all of you.

Best Regards
Nigel


Nigel Spiers
Christchurch, New Zealand
info@nzacoustics.com
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Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
Oh, man. What a great day when I see a new one by you folks. Man, what a treat. This is unsurprisingly outstanding. I've heard versions of this but never really knew the backstory. Thanks! Peter, what you do in there is just perfect --so appropriate and adds so much. That bass drum was at first too strong, but then it makes a great emphatic statement that fits gloriously with the song. Janice, you vocals are so --yeah, you know what I'm going to say-- GREAT! The mix, as always, shines all the proper light on all the magic you guys pack into each production.


That is much appreciated Marty. Taking on a genre like this is always akin to stepping of a cliff. smile

We’re glad it worked for you!

J&B

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Hi Janice & Bud and PeterF,

It's still as well constructed with a slightly reggae style. The whole thing is very pleasant with Janice's superb voice and Peter's guitar accompaniment.

Kindly regard
Derochette
alias JaniJackFlash


Kindly regards
Derochette
alias JaniJackFlash
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Damn good reggaebilly!

Team, more reggaebilly please. Seriously, very original raw and authentic stuff. I will start with complaint. Bud definitely could of played upright on it.

Janice, very versatile vocals and excellent cajon drumming. Peter caught the vibe very well, not an easy thing for cross genre, A+. Bud, fantastic mix. Listens very "live", almost club feel. Congrats on this gem and thank you for sharing.

Misha.

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Janice, Bud & Peter,

Truly outstanding! A great variety of tracks and awesome arrangement.

Love Peter's guitar and Janice sings this as only she can...

Crystal clear mix with loads of dynamics. Absolutely love it!

Bob

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Reggaeabilly is a nice twist on what I imagine is a standard English folk tune. Those lyrics are haunting. Mix and instrumentation sounds fantastic. Thanks for bringing another old and mostly forgotten so to life and to the forefront.

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Originally Posted By: NigelSpiers
Hi Folks,

This has a very catchy and hypnotic beat - well done.

I also liked the vocals and the mix.

I was particularly taken with the excellent lead guitar where it had a Tony Joe White funky swamp feel in the middle of the song - terrific.

Well done all of you.

Best Regards
Nigel



Thank you Nigel. Thanks for all you said and especially for mentioning the beat … that’s what we strove for. Also we are long time Tony Joe fans and it’s interesting that you mentioned him … so maybe this tune is reggaeswampybilly! smile

J&B

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Who doesn't love a murder ballad? Great mix, Bud (as always). The reggaebilly adaption works a treat. Janice's vocals are superb (as always) and Peter's guitar fills are excellent, as is that touch of fiddle.

This reminded me that many years ago I bought an album called 'songs from my funeral' by a duo called Snakefarm, which consisted of contemporary (at the time) updates of traditional folk songs. It included a version of a similarly themed murder ballad, 'Banks of the Ohio'. I expect you know the song, recorded many times by many luminaries. Snakefarm's version, available on Spotify and YouTube, is one I reckon you guys would appreciate.

Regards,
Leon

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Originally Posted By: Derochette
Hi Janice & Bud and PeterF,

It's still as well constructed with a slightly reggae style. The whole thing is very pleasant with Janice's superb voice and Peter's guitar accompaniment.

Kindly regard
Derochette
alias JaniJackFlash


Thanks, glad you liked it!

J&B

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Hey mon that was fantastic.

Not only is this fantastic, as usual, but you have created a new genre, reggaebilly!

As usual everything is perfect.


Dear Mother in Law
Don't tell me how to bring up my children.
I'm living with one of yours.

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Hi, Bud and Janice !


This is absolutely superb !
Wonderful music I love it !
..and Janice´s superb voice
WOW sends goosebumps up
my spine !

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Originally Posted By: rayc
A cracking remake.
The reggae elements are a wonderful fit.
Plenty of great reggae tunes were songs of woe so this fits in.
Excellent comping.
Peter's guitar bursts are ace.
A vocal and harmony that tell a story and inhabit it as well.
Well done crew.
Love it.


Thanks Ray

Peter

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2 chords, a tastefully played guitar and the voice of Janice are all you need to write/re-make a wonderful reggae.
And of course a great arrangement and mix by Bud to make everyone shine.
Great work by all involved!


Making bits and bytes sound good...

Me on YouTube

A worn acoustic guitar, an even older keyboard, some software and lots of ideas...
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Hello Janice, Peter and Bud
Absolutely brilliant mix
Janice's voice fits so perfect to the reggae style
And Peter's guitar work is in no way inferior to that
But extremely impressive is the crystal clear rich sound Bud created here
Just an exceptionally good song
Many greetings
Andi ;-)

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Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
Oh, man. What a great day when I see a new one by you folks. Man, what a treat. This is unsurprisingly outstanding. I've heard versions of this but never really knew the backstory. Thanks! Peter, what you do in there is just perfect --so appropriate and adds so much. That bass drum was at first too strong, but then it makes a great emphatic statement that fits gloriously with the song. Janice, you vocals are so --yeah, you know what I'm going to say-- GREAT! The mix, as always, shines all the proper light on all the magic you guys pack into each production.

Thanks a lot Marty.
Peter

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Originally Posted By: Rustyspoon#
Damn good reggaebilly!

Team, more reggaebilly please. Seriously, very original raw and authentic stuff. I will start with complaint. Bud definitely could of played upright on it.

Janice, very versatile vocals and excellent cajon drumming. Peter caught the vibe very well, not an easy thing for cross genre, A+. Bud, fantastic mix. Listens very "live", almost club feel. Congrats on this gem and thank you for sharing.

Misha.


Thanks Misha! We much appreciate your supportive comments. Bud says, man, I can thump out a walking swing and a few other styles on the bass but reggae would, at least for me, require a LOT of study. It is some funking timing. smile

J&B

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